Count Lennart Bernadotte of Wisborg

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Count Bernadotte of Wisborg
Lennart Sweden & Grandson.jpg
Prince Lennart (then Count Bernadotte) on his yacht at Gripsholm with grandson Friedrich, August, 1965. Photo: John Rusek.
Spouse Karin Nissvandt (m.1932–1972)
Sonja Haunz (m.1972–2004)
Full name
Gustaf Lennart Nicolaus Paul
House House of Bernadotte
Father Prince Vilhelm, Duke of Södermanland
Mother Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia
Born (1909-05-08)8 May 1909
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died 21 December 2004(2004-12-21) (aged 95)
Schloss Mainau, Mainau, Lake Constance, Germany

Lennart Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, né Prince Gustaf Lennart Nicolaus Paul of Sweden (8 May 1909 – 21 December 2004), a grandson of King Gustaf V of Sweden, was until 1932 a Prince of Sweden and the Duke of Småland.

He was born at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, to Prince Wilhelm of Sweden (Gustaf V's second son) and Wilhelms's wife, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia. His father's first cousin was Count Folke Bernadotte, and his own first cousin was the father of King Carl XVI Gustaf.


Under the Swedish Act of Succession, a prince or princess marrying without the consent of the Sovereign and government forfeits the right of succession for themselves and their descendants. They give up their titles and assume the family name of Bernadotte. By his marriage on 11 March 1932 he was subsequently stripped of his title, renounced his rights and became Mr. Lennart Bernadotte.

Since 1868, Swedish princes who have lost their succession rights have received noble titles conferred by other reigning monarchs. The Grand Duke or Grand Duchess of Luxembourg has conferred the title of Count of Wisborg, and in one case, the King of Belgium has conferred the title Prince Bernadotte. Thus, on ennoblement by the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, on 2 July 1951 he became Lennart Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who lost the right to confer noble titles in the new constitution of 1974, still retains the prerogative to restore royal titles, but has chosen not to do so.


In 1944 he portrayed the young Crown Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway in the historical film Prince Gustaf, Bernadotte's only screen acting role.

Lennart Bernadotte concentrated his energy on his estate on the island of Mainau in Lake Constance, Germany, where he died, and on his charitable fund, the Lennart Bernadotte Stiftung. He was considered a major gardening and landscaping talent and expert and turned his island into a popular tourist attraction.

He received the Eduard Rhein Ring of Honor from the German Eduard Rhein Foundation in 1996.[1][2]


Lennart's coat of arms as prince of Sweden

Bernadotte first married Karin Nissvandt (1911-1991) in 1932. They were divorced in 1972 after having one son (Jan) and three daughters (Birgitta, Marie-Louise, and Cecilia). Later that year he married Sonja Anita Maria Haunz (1944-2008). They had two sons (Bjorn and Christian) and three daughters (Bettina, Catharina, and Diana).

Bernadotte died in 2004. His remains and those of his second wife were interred in a crypt under the palace chapel on Mainau. His first wife's remains have been buried in his father's grave in Flen.



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